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Archive for the ‘sales and marketing’ Category

Is Your Business Missing out on Mobile?

Posted by advantagemarketing on December 27, 2016

Business People Working Technology Devices Cocnept

I’ve had small business owners – especially those who own professional service firms – ask me: “Why should we invest in a mobile-friendly website? We get all our business from word of mouth anyway.”

While referrals are a very important way to maintain your business, you still need to have a website optimized for mobile to support lead generation that will help grow your business. The Managing Technology column in the Wall Street Journal recently discussed the need for a mobile-friendly website:

Consumers are ditching their desktops and buying on mobile phones. But a lot of businesses aren’t making it easy for them — according to RBC Capital Markets, only 33% of small businesses have their websites optimized for mobile. This can become a nightmare for customers: “More often than not, people start on their phones,” says John Scheer, founding partner of Herman-Scheer, “If you have to pinch and zoom to find the address or phone number, that’s not an easy user experience. People are more likely to leave that site.”

So how can you design a mobile site that’s a dream come true? Keeping these two simple tips in mind can make your mobile site a pleasure to use and drive more sales:

The User Comes First

The customer is always right, and your website is no exception, according to the WSJ. “You should design around the user experience as opposed to what you want the customer experience to be,” says Luke Wroblewski, a product director at Google.

Looking at how people actually use your site is crucial to its design: What features are people always hunting for? Are any sections of your website particularly frustrating? You may think users will prefer complex features or assume they are browsing on big monitors, but that’s not always true. Ask someone try out your website on a few different devices, and observe where they have difficulties. Try to alleviate those difficulties when you’re making changes to your site.

 Everything Up Front

Experts advise keeping things simple and giving customers what they want the moment they land on your page. A restaurant, for example, should make its contact information and a dinner reservation form some of the first things users see when they enter the website. If your landing page contains all the essentials without being cluttered, mobile users will be much more likely to use your website.

Some helpful additions to every mobile site are:

  • One-click contests and promotions to engage customers
  • Clickable phone numbers that will trigger a call
  • Large font sizes and a simple navigation bar

With the growing flood of mobile users, every business needs a good mobile site. Keeping important information up front and taking into account user experience can make your site a pleasure to use and drive sales. Many businesses are missing out on mobile — make sure yours isn’t too.

Need Help with Your Website?

Contact us if you need help with your website. The Advantage Marketing team is expert at creating mobile-friendly sites with the right content to drive lead generation.

 

Source: “Missing Out on Mobile,” by Dennis Nishi, Managing Technology; Wall Street Journal, 11-21-16.

 

Posted in Business, lead generation, sales and marketing, small business, Traditional marketing, Website, Word of mouth marketing | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Why Should Your Small Business Conduct Market Research?

Posted by advantagemarketing on October 4, 2016

Why does your company need market research?

Insights gained from market research can help your company bring more value to its clients and stay ahead of the competition.

Recently, a CEO  of a mid-sized firm, for whom Advantage Marketing had proposed a much-needed market research project, asked how he should justify the project to his Board of Directors. Here’s what I told him: 

Are any of your board members pilots? Ask them if they would fly blind, without the indicators on the plane’s control panel. Market research is just like those indicators. It keeps you aloft as a business, and prevents you from crashing and burning. Right now your company is flying blind – how close are you to crashing and burning without valid market insights? If you’re not crashing and burning, you’re at least wasting fuel (money) by running inefficiently with things that won’t bring value to clients or get you new business.

With market research, the return on investment is almost always positive.What would be the value if this project netted you just one new client? Or, even better, if it enabled you to develop a new product line for a new market? It’s not certain that you’d get either, but you certainly aren’t getting either now.

Other benefits of market research include:

  1. Maintaining and improving the sales team’s focus.
  2. Pointing you in the direction of the most lucrative opportunities.
  3. Keeping your company relevant and future-oriented.
  4. Improving your decision-making and reducing your risk.
  5. Keeping you ahead of the competition.

It also avoids negative consequences such as:

  1. Plunging blindly ahead and investing money where it doesn’t provide value for customers.
  2. Staying the same as always and losing market share to others who innovate and come up with a better, faster, or cheaper way of doing what you’re doing now.
  3. Losing money because you’re caught sleeping while the market is changing.

Is your company considering market research? What do you see as the benefits of research for your company?

Posted in B2B marketing, Market research, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, sales and marketing, small business, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Don’t Miss Out: Read Our 7 Top Posts from 2013

Posted by advantagemarketing on December 15, 2013

most popular marketing posts

Did you miss these top posts for 2013? It’s not too late to check them out!

Did you miss any of our best posts during 2013?

You can catch up here – these seven posts were particularly popular with Marketing Advantage readers.

(And we’d love to know what your favorite Marketing Advantage post was in 2013. Just leave a quick comment below to tell us.)

7 Ideas for Attracting Customers

I gave a talk recently to the Just Think B.I.G., Bernardsville, NJ, group about marketing tactics that attract customers. Many of the women business owners present knew their product or service really well, but didn’t always know how to attract the attention of prospective customers.

Marketing is all about getting people to know, like and then trust you. There are many ways to do this; here are the seven ideas I spoke about… Read more

23 Sales and Marketing Ideas for 2013

At a recent Executive Exchange Inc. meeting, business owners talked about how they will boost their sales and marketing efforts in 2013. Here are some ideas that were discussed… Read more

How to Market Your Business with an eBook

Less expensive than producing a “traditional” book, electronic books (or “eBooks”) exist in various formats, including MS Word files, Adobe Acrobat pdf files (one of the most popular formats) and HTML files (which can be read using a web browser). You might even consider converting your book to the ePub format, which is becoming a standard for e-readers… Read more

Does Social Media Fit in Your Professional Services Marketing Plan?
“How can we use social media?”

That’s a question I often get from partners and owners of professional service firms. They think social media is something they should be paying attention to, yet they are unsure where to start, or even if they should start, using it.

For retailers and other businesses that market products entirely to consumers, social media marketing – through Facebook, Twitter or even YouTube – has become accepted practice. It lets them to get closer to their customers, provide better service and earn positive word of mouth.  But what about professional service firms? Is there value for you in social networking? If so, which of the many social media tools is relevant for you? Read more

How Professional Service Firms Can Get Started in Social Media

In my last post, I wrote about how social media can help professional service firms become thought leaders for their target clients. I also talked about how to choose the most relevant social media for your firm.

Here’s a simple framework for fitting social media into your firm’s marketing plan. Think of three interactive segments that build on each other to benefit your practice: tried and true tactics, conscious outreach, and cutting edge tactics. With this framework in mind, you can choose the tactics from each segment that fit your firm’s culture, level of marketing expertise, and target market… Read more

15 Tips for Creating Engaging Content

Content rules. Whether you’re tweeting, writing blog posts, or contributing to a LinkedIn group discussion, it is content that drives conversations and connects your professional services firm to its social network. But creating content that your audience will want to read can be challenging. à Read more

29 Marketing Tactics for Building Know, Like, Trust – and Try

Is summer a quiet time for your business? Then it’s time to rev up your lead generation machine! Put one or more of these proven marketing tactics to work now and start getting prospects to KNOW, LIKE, and TRUST your business and TRY your products or services.

Remember: marketing is all about making selling easier – if not almost unneeded. Effective marketing eliminates the need for that pushy selling that so many of us dislike. That’s what these tactics can do for you… Read more

Have we left one of your favorites off? Drop us a comment, below and let us know which one!

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, Marketing, Professional service firm marketing, sales and marketing, small business, social media and phishing, Social media marketing, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

23 Sales & Marketing Ideas for 2013

Posted by advantagemarketing on December 18, 2012

sales and marketing ideas

Here’s how some NJ business owners will be boosting their sales & marketing in 2013

At a recent Executive Exchange Inc. meeting, business owners talked about how they will boost their sales and marketing efforts in 2013. Here are some ideas that were discussed:

  1. Post-Sandy, come up with a special “after the storm” offer – tie it into your business offerings and what your prospects need.
  2. If you don’t have a web presence, you don’t exist in the prospect’s eyes. If you want prospects to find you, you need to have your website optimized for search engines. And then you need to have on your website information that the prospect really values and can use. You need to come up with a way to capture the prospect’s information. Your site also needs to be set up so it can be read easily from a mobile device.
  3. Consider running Google ads and/or LinkedIn ads, depending on where your prospects are. Ads should be based on keywords that are relevant to what you do.
  4. Market smarter: customers want value – give it to them, but don’t give away the store. Stop chasing shiny things (i.e., things that look good, but will have little real impact on your sales efforts). Get input from current clients to help you build value.
  5. Consider adding public speaking to your marketing mix. Think about what your call-to-action would be for the speaking engagement.
  6. Networking is still a great way to get referrals, especially repeat ones.
  7. When you’re hiring a new salesperson, you need them to be good at cold calling, as well as personable. They should also be trainable, and not just “order takers”.
  8. Woo your existing customers – they can be sources of new business as well as refer you to new business. Reach out to your current customers on a routine basis.
  9. Do something memorable to stick in the mind of the end buyer. A couple examples: parking a Porsche in a great neighborhood; setting up a barbeque for the neighborhood in front of an open house. Participate in trade shows that are relevant to your end customers.
  10. Physical cold calling works. For example, when you’re in an office building, plan time around your appointments so that you can knock on other doors.
  11. Get in front of the right potential client – not the gatekeeper or junior person.
  12. Have a competition for your sales people. Whoever brings in the most new business gets a Starbucks gift card as an award.
  13. Expand your own education, so that you can talk knowledgeably about related areas.
  14. Offer referral incentives to existing customers.
  15. Consider using Patch.com – a local online news source – to advertise, post info about your company, and run ads. Also consider advertising in the local papers. More about hyper-local media.
  16. Consider street fairs, email blasts, and coupons as a way to get the word out about your business.
  17. Send a bi-monthly newsletter to current and past clients.
  18. Build a close relationship with those in related businesses, who can refer business to you.  A limo company, for instance, gets referrals from AAA, catering halls, and travel agents.
  19. Consider contributing to online discussion boards to get your name known.
  20. Sign up for Google Alerts – a great way to stay current on what customers and prospects are doing, as well as industry trends.
  21. Invite all your clients to dinner. They may just end up doing business with each other, and you look like a hero.
  22. Use Craig’s List to find a cold caller. Sweet Grandmother-types often make good cold callers – who would hang up on their Grandma?
  23. Join professional associations not directly related to your area of expertise. For example, a website technology company owner joined the NJ Builders Association, and was able to connect with builders who needed websites.

Posted in B2B marketing, Marketing, sales and marketing, small business, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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